Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative: Why It's Important! Step #2

To receive CIMS designation as "mother-friendly," a hospital , birth center, or home birth service must carry out the these philosophical principles by fulfilling the Ten Step of Mother-Friendly Care.

Step #2: A mother-friendly hospital, birth center, or home birth service provides accurate descriptive and statistical information to the public about it's practices and procedures for birth care, including measures  of interventions and outcomes. 

In order for mothers to get a crystal clear picture of the organization they intrust their birth to, this step needs to be implemented everywhere. No matter what choices a mother is going to make during her birth she needs to know if her wishes will be respected or not. Like all businesses, hospitals, birth centers, or home birth services have statistics and outcomes when their product is used. We as birthing families are the consumer. We have a right to know how well or not so well a provider's service is doing or whether they will fit our birth choices. 

For a mother who wants a natural childbirth, is educated about her body and her choices, understands when intervention may be necessary it may not be in her best interest to place her birth experience in the hands of a hospital with a 50% cesarean rate. She has a right to know this information so that as a consumer, she can choose to buy her services from said hospital or not. 

For a mother wanting a medicated birth and wants to be supported in that choice it may not be in her best interest to birth with a provider who has never needed to use an epidural. While this provider may be very skilled at the art of supporting birthing mothers she/he has cared for, this particular mother has a right to choose a place of birth supportive of her wishes.

What if more mothers and families adopted the idea that birth in America is a business. While most of us don't see it that way or wish it wasn't, it very much seems like it doesn't it? The sooner we start placing our births in appropriate hands the better birth outcomes we will have! If we are always agreeing with the idea that we "have to birth here because it is the only option (for whatever reason)..." then we are not treating our births with the respect they deserve. 

It is up to us to HIRE the correct professional for our births. It is up to birth professionals to provide us with the information we need to make educated choices about where we birth. If every hospital, birth center, and home birth service in America made available accurate, descriptive, and statistical information to the public we would all be a little more confident in the places we choose to birth! 

For more information on the Ten Steps of the Mother-Friendly Initiative or to get involved please visit

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